The A-Z of British Street Slang

Bingo is one of the UK’s most popular games of all time, and chances are that if you play online bingo games, then sooner or later you’re going to be in a chat room with some very British folk. Slang here is in a niche of its very own. It’s always evolving and differs from region to region – and new words and phrases seem to be added to the list all the time.
It’s normally quite easy to keep up with American slang, given that most TV shows, films and other media are mostly from “across the pond”. British slang is a bit harder to crack, though. Of course, if you’re over the age of, say, 21, then it becomes even more difficult to keep up with the “woke” youth and all the fresh vocab can undoubtedly become overwhelming.
So, we thought we’d lend a helping hand for your next online bingo chat room experience or discussion of online slots by giving you an A-Z of British slang. We’ll include some age-old classics that seem to stick around, as well as some of the newer words that seem to be popping up.
Of course, it’s impossible to list every British slang word you might encounter (and obviously we won’t be mentioning anything too rude), but here’s our take on the most popular phrases out there.


“Ace” means something that is brilliant or excellent. It can also refer to passing something with flying colours. For example, “Joe is an ace on the football field”, or, for the latter definition, “I think I aced my driver’s test.”
All to pot
This is a relatively old expression, but it is still used today. It’s usually used when a situation goes badly or out of your control. For example, “The birthday party went all to pot when we forgot to bring the cake.”


Big yikes
This is a relatively new slang word. An extension of the word “yikes”, you can use this phrase when you see something that makes you recoil in embarrassment. For example, you’d say “big yikes” if someone accidentally posted an embarrassing selfie (just don’t let that person be you!).
“Blimey” is a form of surprise or impressive shock, rather than being something negative. For example, you might say, “Blimey! Did you see that goal?”
“Blinding” is certainly not something that causes an inability to see in this case. It’s actually a positive term for something that’s really excellent. For example, “Tommy had a blinding round of golf today.”
You’ve probably heard someone being called a “bloke” before. It’s similar to what Americans would call an “average joe” but in general, it’s just used to describe a man.
You could say something like, “That Kevin is a top bloke.”
Bob’s your uncle/Fanny’s your aunt
The first form of this is definitely more popular, but essentially, they are interchangeable. It basically refers to how easy it is to achieve the expected outcome of a situation.
For example, “Boil the kettle, put the teabag in the pot, pour the water in the pot, and Bob’s your uncle – you’ll have a pot of tea.”
Bollocks is undoubtedly one of the most famous British slang terms. There are a number of different uses for this word. The first is as a curse word, for example, you’d say “bollocks” (among other things) after dropping a brick on your foot.
You’d also say bollocks if you think someone isn’t telling the truth. For example, “Used to play for Man Utd, did ya? Bollocks.”
But of course, it gets even more confusing, because if you were to tell a friend you’d had a meal at a restaurant that was the “dog’s bollocks”, then you’d mean it was one of the best meals you’ve ever had!
Discerning readers will also know it also refers to men’s tender bits, but we won’t go into any more detail, there!
This has nothing to do with what we spoke about above but rather refers to someone getting told off for doing something that was deemed to be wrong. It’s often not something serious.
For example, “James got a bollocking from his partner for forgetting to buy the cheese for dinner.”
Bugger all
“Bugger all” is basically a British slang term for “nothing at all”.
For example, “I’ve done bugger all today.”


There’s a couple of meanings for “cheers” in British slang. Of course, it is what we say when we clink our glasses together and toast. It can also mean thank you, as in, “Cheers for the help, Steve.” It can also be used to say goodbye – for example, “Cheers mate, see ya next week.”
Chuffed is used as an expression of pride and happiness for your own achievements or those of someone else close to you.
For example, “I’m chuffed with my exam results,” or “I’m chuffed for Jenny – she made the team.”
This is a term that you’re most likely to hear when people are talking about wild nights out. It means to be ill or to vomit. Some say it comes from when a person needed to “up-chuck” over the side of a ship – people would warn those on lower decks, “Watch under!”
For example, “Brad had a chunder outside the pub last night.”


Damp squib
This refers to something that fails. It comes from the fact that a squib (explosive) most likely won’t work when it’s wet.
For example, “The party was a bit of a damp squib seeing as only five people turned up.”
This is just another term for a party.
For example, “Are you going to Ricky’s birthday do tonight?”
This is something wrong, illegal, or just plain “off”.
For example, “How’d he afford that car? Bit dodgy if you ask me.”
“I definitely had dodgy fish and chips last night – I really don’t feel good.”
“That guy seems a bit dodgy.”


This is much older slang that means “a group of two weeks”.
For example, “I’ll be back from my holiday in a fortnight.”


When used with the preposition “on”, this can be used to hype up or encourage someone to do something, as in “Go on, Emma, you can do it!” Or, more commonly, it’s used as “having a go” to describe someone who is angrily confronting someone else, which could even be you. For example, “Why are you having a go at me?”
Shocked or surprised beyond belief. “I was gobsmacked when I found out he was cheating on me.”
To be devastated or saddened by a situation.
For example, “Ray’s wife left him. He’s absolutely gutted.”


Have a gander
This relates to the way a goose (a male goose is called a gander) cranes its neck to look at something.
It works like this, “Come here and have a gander at what’s happening.”
This means that everything is as it should be.
For example, “Yeah, everything’s hunky-dory at work.”


This is a word used to describe someone who is extremely lucky, without putting in much effort.
For example, “I can’t believe Pete got that job – proper jammy.”


Kerfuffle is slightly archaic but is still used to describe a fight or an argument caused by differing views.
For example, “Got myself into a kerfuffle with a colleague today about politics.”
This is a very expressive way to describe tiredness and exhaustion, albeit with quite negative connotations, because it refers to “knacker’s yards”, where horses get sent when they’re too old to work.
For example, “I can’t come out tonight mate. I am absolutely knackered from work.”


Lost the plot
This simply means that someone has become angry, exasperated or lost their cool (not advisable while playing bingo, we’d suggest).
For example, ‘“When my mum saw the mess I’d made, she lost the plot.”


This is of course simply another word for friend or buddy.
For example, “Morning mate. How are you?”
Minging (pronounced: ming-ing) is a newish word that is used as an alternative to “disgusting” or “gross”.
For example, “Did you see that leg break in the footy last night? So minging, mate.”


Nice one
“Nice one” is used almost exclusively sarcastically, although it can be used sincerely depending on the person, tone of voice, and context (which goes for a lot of British expressions!).
For example, “You forgot your 10-year anniversary? Nice one!”


Pork pies
This term is used to say someone is telling a lie. It is based on Cockney rhyming slang.
For example, “I think you’re telling pork(y) pies.”
Posh can pretty much mean two things: someone from the upper class; or something that’s really fancy.
For example, “Have you met Laura’s mum? She’s pretty posh.”
“Oh, the wedding is at that place! It’s quite posh.”
This means two different things depending on location or social class. When someone from a higher social class uses the word “proper”, it basically means that it’s the acceptable way to behave. For example, “She wasn’t behaving in the proper manner for the event.”
Another meaning for the word is as an alternative to “very” or “extremely”. For example, “That food was proper tasty.”


This word can mean actual waste and trash (as you’ll hear across the pond), but it can also be used to express disbelief in something.
For example, “Can you take the rubbish out tomorrow?”, and “Really? Don’t talk rubbish.”


This is another newer word for British slang and it basically refers to someone that is soppy or overly affectionate to someone. It’s rather derogatory, though, so it’s best to be careful about when and where to use this one!
For example, “Josh is such a simp. Did you see those flowers he bought his date?”
This simply refers to something that is absolutely delicious.
For example, “I can’t wait to go home for dinner. Mum makes such scrummy pie.”
This is another relatively new entry and it is used mainly by younger people. It basically means that something is very cool. The word obviously can take on other meanings, but if you’re careful about the context you use it in, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
For example, “Have you seen the new FIFA game? It looks sick.”
To skive basically means that you’ve purposefully missed something that you were meant to turn up for.
For example, “The teacher told me that Johnny has been skiving from school.”


The bee’s knees
This is when you think a lot of someone or something. It’s an alternative to saying someone or something is “the business”. (Who knows whether bees really have “knees” but this phrase could have come about because those insects tend to stash any pollen they collect in that area!)
An example could be, “That Harry is the bee’s knees.”
Throwing a wobbly
This basically means the same as having a tantrum but is usually reserved for adult behaviour, so it’s more used to describe someone having an outburst about something.
For example, “Darren threw a wobbly because the water was so cold.”


This one’s a bit old these days, but some people still use this adjective to mean “really great” – as in “That shirt looks wicked, man!”


Z list
If someone is described as a “Z-list” celebrity, it means they couldn’t be further from the A list if they tried. For example, “The event was billed as attracting A-listers but even the Z list failed to turn up.”

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/ 24 November 2021